One day back in mid-November, my sister and I were discussing our parent’s Christmas gift. Each year we try to give them something fun, but meaningful. Sometimes the gifting options seem endless and it can be hard to pick, other years the gift plans get a little goofy, and some years there just simply are no ideas. This year we were struggling a bit when we remembered the home video tapes from our childhood. Mom and Dad have talked about updating the old tapes those memories are stored on before the last VCR known to man does not work anymore. The moment it was said we knew this would be the gift for them and could not wait to see their faces when they opened their package at Christmas. Our first step would be to find the tapes and after a few frantic attempts to dig through mom’s storage room without getting caught, my sister located them. Next, I contacted the smartest computer guy I know to figure out how to best get the tapes transferred to digital format so they could be enjoyed for years to come. It all sounded easy enough so I got started on the process.
All-in-all it was pretty simple to transfer the tapes. My mom is organized and the tapes were labeled with dates, so it took very little time to get things in order. However, I knew shortly after beginning the actual recording process it would not be a quick task. To accomplish this undertaking, and keep things neatly organized, I would have to take the time to watch each segment as it copied. Not all was lost, because it really was a lot of fun watching myself as a child and being reminded of some of our family memories and trips, but especially seeing how everyone has changed.
I was in the middle of enjoying one of our church’s Christmas Programs when I noticed several faces of men and women who have since passed away. Many who were at one time teachers or leaders in my spiritual walk. Tears welled up in my eyes as I recounted the lessons they taught me about life and my Savior. All treasured words of wisdom, love, and testimony I still carry with me. Each individual demonstrated the Kingdom of God to me through their words and in how they lived their daily lives. They were some of the foundational people who walked alongside my parents and helped raise me in Christ as if I were their own.
The glimpses of these mentors from my childhood were a great reminder of what God has commanded me and you to do. We have all been instructed to “go and tell” by Christ himself and there are many ways we can go about following those commands – teach Sunday School or Midweek classes; start a Bible Study with people from your workplace; mentor a young man or woman; or help with mentoring at ATLAS. No matter your age or where you are at in life the opportunities to serve and witness in God’s Kingdom here on earth are endless!
The writer of Hebrews says, “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” (13:7) The truth is we all have someone in our life who has been a witness of Christ to us in one way or another. May 2019 be the year you follow in the footsteps of those who spoke the word of God to you. Instead of letting that shared wisdom sit on an old, dusty tape in your mind, imitate those of your past and invest yourself in another person’s life as you point them to our Savior.
PS – My parents loved their gift!